The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is scheduled for launch in 2013 and aims to unravel the history of earlier galaxies, linking the Big Bang to the Milky Way Galaxy. JWST’s Near InfraRed Camera (NIRCam) is a filter-based instrument covering the spectral range of 0.6 to 5.0 microns. The Principle Investigator for NIRCam is Dr. Marcia Reike of the University of Arizona, while the Advanced Technology Center (ATC) of Lockheed Martin is responsible for its manufacture, integration, and testing. Barr Associates recently was selected to design, manufacture, and test 30 filters for the JWST NIRCam. Barr previously provided spaceflight filters for Lockheed Martin ATC, including those for the Solar-B and shuttle glow experiments.
The NIRCam is the primary imager used in the JWST, and also will be used for a critical wavefront sensing function to ensure the various main mirror segments are aligned. It is one of four primary science instruments on the JWST. Special features of the NIRCam filters — in addition to their space qualification — include high-quality transmitted wavefront, spectral performance, and cryogenic operation.
The current Barr effort is an extension of earlier development and production of high-performance flight filters for several Hubble Space Telescope instruments including the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, Advanced Camera for Survey, and Wide Field Camera 3, as well as filter development for more than 100 other spaceflight instruments.
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